tv Farewell Ceremony for Secretary Chuck Hagel CSPAN February 1, 2015 1:10am-1:55am EST
>> next, a hearing for -- farewell ceremony for secretary hagel. and then the future of the highway trust fund. on the next washington journal philip klein discusses the congressional republican approach to the affordable care act. and possible alternatives. afl-cio president talks about the recent wage summit. the minimum wage debate and the state of labor unions. possible alternatives. and ambassador james smith will examine relations. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal live at to :00 a.m. eastern -- live at 7:00
a.m. eastern. >> dr. francis jensen on the discoveries about the teenage brain. >> they do not have the frontal lobes to reason the cause and effect actions are not clear. their frontal lobes are not at the ready. they are not as readily accessible. they have them, but connections cannot be made as quickly for split-second decision-making. a lot of the hormones are changing in the bodies. the brain has not seen these yet until you hit teenage years. the brain has to learn how to respond to these hormones rolling around and locking onto receptors and synapses. it is trial and error. this contributes to the very roller coaster kind of experience we watch as parents.
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chiefs of staff paid tribute to secretary chuck hagel. he announced his departure late last year. streets --the deputy defense secretary has been nominated to replace him. this about for five minutes -- 45 minutes. [applause] >> before i begin, i would like to ask you to join me in recognizing the incredible group of soldiers, sailors and behind me. they are the best at what they do. thank you very much. [applause] mr. secretary, i could not help
but thinking as the national anthem was playing, i would not hazard a guess as to how many times it has been played. i hope it provides a lasting and enduring and special memory of your time in service of your country. distinguished guests, men and women. good afternoon. it's an honor to thank the secretary for his service to the nation. i begin 48 years ago. when they called in timothy hagel and said, you have six months or you are going to get drafted. to which he put replied i tried college. three colleges. it was not in the best interest of them. to keep me.
the best thing for me is to go to the army. he volunteered to says -- just as his father and grandfather had. and that characterizes his leadership as secretary of defense. theodore roosevelt once said i have enjoyed my life and work because i believe that success real success, does not depend on the position you hold but how you carry yourself. it is unquestionable that secretary hagel's lifetime of service in every position he has
because there is a war going on. and he felt the responsibility to serve. he said, my father had suddenly passed away. i was not coming together the way i should. today, we can say without question that he came together. i'm certain the old be 25 tailgunner -- b-25 tailgunner would agree. i am proud to have served by your side. it is my honor to introduce the vice president of the united states. [applause] >> mr. president chairman dempsey.
i no-hit has been hard to raising a father and a good job. -- i know it has been hard raising a father and husband. you have done a good job. there is no one you know. we have been friends for a long time to read is no one that better sets the standard that president kennedy set out when he said our success or failure will be measured by the answer to four questions. were we men of courage? men of judgment? of integrity? were we men of dedication? with chuck the resort more than your physical courage that i admire. it is moral courage. political courage. you have more of that than
anyone i have served with. and all the years i have served in the senate. you are a man whose judgment and counsel i have always sought, to your chagrin sometimes. during the 12 years together any foreign relations committee many tens of thousands of miles we have traveled around. into northern iraq at a time when before we went in we want to go into a town. we could figure out how to get there. this was before the war commenced. the turks decided to let us through. we were on the border. they decided to stick us in a car with a guy that look like some thing out of a modern day road warrior movie.
both sitting in the backseat. they told us, make sure you lie down. you do not want to be seen. i remember chuck saying, i am warned about my mom. we are writing through the mountains -- riding through the mountains and kurdistan. you are in a phone. you called your mother. it is a pretty interesting fellow who is on an important mission but never forgets what was important to him. your integrity chuck is something everybody in the senate, everybody in the previous administrations recognized. it is recognizable immediately. you always mean what you said. you said what you mean. in my neighborhood and yours, a
promise made is a promise kept. you cannot find anyone who has ever known you who you have not kept whatever commitment you have made. certification to this country and family -- you your dedication to this country and family goes without having to make reference to. your experience as a fellow warrior to all your comrades here has established an unusual bond between you and the troops. i'm a member down and bus are -- in basar, you are climbing into a humvee. you are asking what the problem is. we were in baghdad or afghanistan. always walking away. talking to the reagan file troops. they understood -- talking to the rank and file troops.
they understood. something the president understands and exemplifies. we not only lead the world by the example of our power. but by the power of our example. you have understood the core that america's power and prestige rests upon men and women in uniform that are assembled here today. you feel as i do, we have a lot of obligations as a country. we only have one truly sacred obligation. obligations to the needy. elderly. only one truly sacred obligation. a quick those and care for them
when they come home. nobody has been more committed to filling that obligation than you. chuck i am truly going to personally miss you. i will miss your presence here. no one in this auditorium misunderstands the depth of your service. and the friendships you have made. thank you for all you have done. all you have done for the country. i am proud to call you a friend. how do stand by you as a secretary of defense about to retire. being from nebraska, you could have been the secretary of agriculture. congratulations, chuck. i wish you the best. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you. good afternoon everyone. michelle onand i just than the last few days in india. i returned about 3:00 this morning. i don't know it's ugly what time it is. or what i don't know what time it is. but i was determined to be with you this afternoon to honor and celebrate a great friend. to me, and to all of us. in october of 1967, president lyndon johnson traveled to a military base in new mexico to review a top secret weapons program. he went down to the white sands missile range.
out to the testing ground. there come out in the desert the president watched as soldiers demonstrated what would later become the famed stinger missile. one of those out there was a young person named chuck hagel. i can only assume you were careful not to pointing missile at the president. what followed was a life of dedicated service to our nation spending nearly 50 years. vice president biden, embers of congress, leaders from across this department and members of the joint chiefs and service
secretaries, the men and women of the greatest military in the world -- we gather to pay tribute to a true american patriot. and let me assure you that i checked with the secret service and chuck will not be demonstrating missile launches. as we have heard and hurt again, chuck loves nebraska. cornhuskers. above all, what he loves most about his home state is the people. fellow midwesterners. there are just under two million people in nebraska. 7 billion people on the planet. as so many of our troops have found out, no matter where he goes in the world, if you are from nebraska, he will find you. he will talk with you and listen to you.
ask you about your family back home. chances are he knows them, too. today is a celebration of a quintessentially american person. imagine the defining moments of his life. a kid from nebraska who volunteered to go to vietnam. a soldier outside saigon, racine -- rushing to pull his own brother from a burning vehicle. the senator will lead the fight for the post-9/11 g.i. bill to give them the same opportunities he had. i asked chuck to lead the department at a moment of profound transition. we express our gratitude under his watch.
our combat mission in afghanistan is over. america's longest war has come to a responsible and honorable e nd. because of a strategic review is made difficult choices and a time of tight budgets. today our troops are supporting afghan forces and continue to face risk to remain relentless in the pursuit of al qaeda networks. they are leading the coalition to destroy isil. chuck strengthened key partnerships in the middle east. under his leadership, our forces in west africa are helping to lead the global fight against ebola. showing american leadership at its very best. even as we have met these present challenges, chuck has
helped us to prepare for the century ahead. in europe, a stronger nato is reassuring our allies. in the asian pacific, one of my priorities, chuck helped strengthen partnership, bolster defense posture, improve communications between american and chinese militaries, all of which helps to ensure america remains a strong pacific power. because chuck helped build new trust to expand our defense cooperation, which was demonstrated during my visit there. that partnership is moving in a new direction. that is partly attributable to work that chuck did. the reforms he launched will help make this department more efficient and innovative for years to come. inks to secretary hegel's -- thanks to secretary hegel's guiding hand, this institution is better positioned for the future. chap, i want to suggest today
-- chuck i want to suggest today that your greatest impact, a legacy that will be felt for decades to come has been your own example. it is not simply that you have been the first and listed combat veteran and the first vietnam veteran to service to director of defense, it is how your service down in the mud, feeling the bullets fly overhead has allowed you to connect with our troops like no other secretaries before you. you have welcomed our junior and listed personnel to lunch in your office into made them feel at home. they told you about was really on their minds. you spoke to our newest sergeant majors about leadership and responsibility, they knew there were learning from one of their own. in those quiet moments when you pinned a purple heart on a warrior, you were there not just as secretary of defense but as an old army sergeant to knows the wages of war and still
carries the shrapnel in your chest. these are not fleeting moments they reflect the driving force of hegel's service. his determination to take care of our troops after 13 years of war. today, our military hospitals are getting stronger. our women are more integrated into the force than ever before. we're battling sexual assaults. we are bringing home the remains of fallen heroes faster. more veterans are eligible for the disability pay they deserved all along. chuck, that is because of you. that is part of your legacy. i am grateful to chuck on a very personal level. exactly 10 years ago this month i joined you in the united states senate, along with the vice president. i was new and green, you are a veteran legislator. i was a student and you shared. i wish on and you were -- well -- though we came from different
-- shared lessons of your service. i was young. you were -- [laughter] we came from different parties we often sought the world the same way. including our conviction to defend our nation, never to rush into war. we both believed that america should only's -- should only send her son and daughters into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary and when we do we want to make sure they and have everything they need to succeed in a submission that is worthy of their sacrifice. politics too often defense in spectacle. you have served with decency and dignity. you have never lost your midwestern humility.
you have always been frank and honest and said what you thought. i have so profoundly benefited from your candor. you represent a tradition of bipartisanship in national security that we need more of today. joe biden reflects that. dick reflects that. that is when we are in our best. the sergeant, the secretary, you have always been guided by one interest. what you believed is best for america. i thank you for your friendship and counsel, and all of us thank you for your character and your integrity. of course, nobody serves alone. thank you for sharing your husband and father with us, and
for the sacrifices were family has made for all of ours. our lives are so often a reflection of those closest to us i want to ignore knowledge the service of your brother tom, -- acknowledge the service of your brother tom, your father charles, the sacrifices of your late mom, betty, who worked a day into night to raise her four sons. we salute this american emily. -- american family. our men and women here today those who stand where chuck once stood, they do not ask for much. they volunteer, they accept the risks, but they do ask this, for this nation to take care of them as well as they have taken care of us.
that we provide them the resources to their jobs to meet emissions. after all they have given to us, all they have the right to expect that we will meet their obligations as well. that is my duty as commander-in-chief, and this will be the duty of my nominee to the next secretary of defense. this is the work of all of us. as those grateful to those who serve in our name. as chuck hagel has done. i close with a story that came about last year. i was going to tell the story about when we're traveling in a rack -- in iraq, chuck were these harsh puppy vegan slippers in the flap started opening and his toes were sticking out. i am going to skip that story. he ended up buying me a pair. which i have never worn, i am proud to say. [laughter]
that is a different story. this is a different story. one day, chuck came in for what i thought would be our regular meeting but he had a guest. he introduces. -- he introduced us. he was from our -- my hometown of chicago. chuck it is plain that skip, lieutenant johnson, had been his platoon commander in vietnam. had lost touch until skip tracked him down. chuck wanted to bring skip to the oval office to say hello to the president. to meet his family, including his younger grandsons. chuck told me about how it had been 1968, protests, race riots causing tensions among troops in vietnam. chuck's unit was mostly white, but skip his african-american.
as the platoon commander he was not going to tolerate division or mistrust. he made it clear, we're all americans. we're going to live together, take care of each other, have our backs. let's get it done. at that moment, in the oval office as these two soldiers stood before me, with skips grandsons looking on, it was not lost on any of us how far our nation has come. i want to thank chuck for that moment because part of the reason we have traveled that distance is we have admin like chuck hagel. serving. representing what is best in america.
in moments when we are tested as a military, as a nation, sometimes we get distracted by what divides us and lose track of what unites us. at those moments, we can draw strength from the example of a sergeant from nebraska and a lieutenant from chicago. we are all americans. we live together, we sacrifice together, we take care of each other. sometimes we have to fight together. ladies and gentlemen, i want to introduce to you my friend, our 24th secretary of defense and an outstanding american. mr. chuck hagel. [applause] >> thank you.
and to make this visit today means an awful lot. thank you. i want to also thank you for giving me the honor of serving you and the american people as secretary of defense. i will always be grateful. always grateful for that opportunity. mr. president, thank you for your strong leadership at a very difficult time. a difficult time in our world that requires wise, steady careful leadership. you have and you are providing that leadership and i have been very proud to serve with you in the senate, in particular over the last two years as your secretary of defense. vice president biden, thank you as well for being here today.
i have not forgotten some of the stories that you told. i recall very well us calling my mother on that trip to the mountains in iraq, and i remember you wanted to speak with her. [laughter] and hours and hours later -- [laughter] -- she never forgot that, mr. vice president. she was so proud of that phone conversation. and so, i thank you for your generous reaching out to my mother at a very difficult time for her.
because she was gone about a month later. so, thank you. one of my greatest joys during my time here in washington has been the development of our friendship and as you have noted in the president has noted, our time together, the three of us on the senate for -- on the senate foreign relation committee, and secretary kerry is here, i include you in those days. our former chairman, chairman lugar is here as well. to dick lugar, thank you. as you noted, there are special people in our life. that we benefit from. vice president biden thank you , for your years of service as well.
senator dempsey, it has been a great privilege for this little sergeant to have worked side-by-side with a general of your character injured worker and. i have been very fortunate to have you as a partner in this job. especially during those self-help into educational opportunities called congressional hearings. [laughter] i was always reassured in each of those hearings as will drive to the hill in the morning knowing that marty dempsey was next to me. what you have meant to our military, marty, and what you continue to do for this country, thank you very much. i see another great icon of the united states senate with us today.
senator john warner, who we all worked closely with and benefited from. to our distinguished colleagues senators legal and warner, thank you. i am grateful that you would take the time to visit us on this location. -- occasion. to the civilians and commanders, thank you. thank you for your unflagging service and your commitment to this country. i want to particularly acknowledge bob work, our deputy secretary of defense. i thank him for the strong partnership over the last year. my appreciation as well to ash carter. his service and partnership during my first year of the pentagon, and for his continued commitment to public service.
my heartfelt thanks to my security and advance staff. each of you have played critically important roles for which my family and i will be always grateful. to my personal staff and those in the office of the secretary who have been indispensable, indispensable in helping me carry out my responsibilities, i thank you. into the men into women who serve our countries, and their sacrifice. we salute your high purpose in your commitment to our values. every morning you wake up and you go to work knowing that to this department into this department alone is charged with one fundamental mission. the security of our nation. it has been my absolute privilege to of been on your team. over the past two years, i have witnessed the courage and dignity of america's service men
and women all over the world. i have senior enlisted men and women do their jobs. they realize how they do their jobs is just as important as the job itself. i have seen senior officers in senior enlisted realizing their role models may be their highest responsibility. i have seen the enduring devotion and commitment to their families. the mothers, the fathers husbands, wives, children. the sacrifices that they willingly, willingly make for their country. their commitment to the greater good and strength of the institution has been a complete inspiration to me in every way. they understand that it is people, people who build and strengthen the institutions that make the world a better place. these are the reasons the american military is one of the
most trusted institutions in our country. we must always protect that confidence and trust by our conduct and performance. continuing to hold ourselves into each other to the highest standards of professionalism and personal behavior. as i will soon leave this job that i have cherished for the last two years, i want you all to know that the things i have most respect did -- most respected and most admired are your dignity, your courage, and your dedication. the opportunity to have been part of all of this is something i could not have imagined when i joined the army 48 years ago. no high office with responsibility is easy. as everyone in this room knows.
but with each difficult challenge comes in the satisfaction of knowing, knowing that you are, like teddy roosevelt's man in the arena slugging it out, doing what you believe. doing what you like. and doing it your way. and recognizing that it is not the critics that count or change the world or make the world better. rather, it is those were willing to work. work very hard toward holding a better world. we live in a complicated and defining time. the men into women who have devoted their lives to americans security are the architects of this new 21st century world. they are building on to the great foundations and legacies of those have gone before them. we have made mistakes. we will make more mistakes.
but we hold tightly to one of america's greatest strengths. the capacity into the constitutional structure that allows us to self-correct. we can change systems, right wrongs, solve problems, and start over. but we must get the basics. we must recognize that there is not an immediate answer to every problem. some problems require if all bring solutions that give us the time and the space to adjust. the patience to seek higher ground and lasting results. our world is not moving toward less complicated problems but rather toward more global challenges rooted in historic injustices and conflicts. in this dynamic environment we need to prioritize and focus on how, how to build greater
partnership capacity around the world with our partners. to help solve problems between coalitions. these are difficult and complicated tasks. but we have no choice. it will require steady, wise judicious use of american power, prestige, and influence. we must never fail to always ask the most important questions when making decisions. what happens next? with all of the world's travails and problems it is still a hopeful world. this i believe. i want to thank my wife. with whom i have shared this remarkable 30-year journey.
i could never have done this job without her at my side. i am especially proud of her work on behalf of military families and other important issues to men in women of the military. -- and women of the military. i valued all of our many contributions to this institution and i thank her deeply for helping me be a better secretary of defense. i want to also thank my daughter, and my son for their constant support, encouragement, and always good advice. in helping me with the internet. [applause] [laughter] and recognizing and helping me take inventory in that recognition that i am not nearly as smart as i thought i was.